Creative Conversation Begins with Contemplative Compassion

Listening with compassion is a path to authentic relationship. (Photo: Shutterstock)

A friend of mine, who is the executive director of a progressive Christian ministry, told me the story of meeting an activist who identifies as spiritual but not religious. At first, this person wasn't even interested in talking to my friend.He saw a Christian as someone hopelessly irrelevant, part of the problem rather than the solution.Fortunately, my progressive Christian friend was able to communicate one essential detail. "I'm not here to convert you or to argue with you. I'm here … [Read more...]

“They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love” — And These Gifts Make It Possible

God is Love.

One of C.S. Lewis's last, and best, books was called The Four Loves. Drawing from four different Greek words for love, the book celebrates affection, friendship, eros, and charity and considers the moral, ethical, and spiritual dynamics at play in each form of love.As worthy as Lewis's writing might be, I think Jesus offers his own take on "four loves" that considers not the dynamic of love so much as the object of our love. Here are two Biblical passages that illustrate Jesus's four lo … [Read more...]

A Gift for Lorraine

Okay, my friends, get your kleenex ready. This video tells the story of a 96-year-old man who wrote a song for his recently deceased wife (of over 70 years), and how a local recording studio helped to bring the song to life. Part of what's so cool for me personally is that we share the same anniversary (June 26), although of course they celebrated their golden anniversary three years before Fran and I got married.And be sure to download the song from iTunes (I have). … [Read more...]

Two Big Smiles

This past Saturday evening Fran and I took Rhiannon to see her favorite musician, Cindy Lou Harrington, in concert at a wonderful little pizza place called Shorty's in Tucker, GA (unlike most pizzerias, Shorty's has several vegan options on their menu). Before the show began, Cindy Lou stopped by our table and posed for a picture with her number 1 fan. Gotta love those smiles!You never would have thought Rhiannon is fighting against both liver and kidney disease if you had been there Saturday … [Read more...]

Tallis in Atlanta

Guess where I'll be tomorrow afternoon?At the "Labor of Love" Choral Concert, featuring music by Vaughan Williams, Wagner, Brahms, and — the pièce de résistance — Thomas Tallis' 40-part motet, Spem in Alium. According to the website promoting the concert, this motet has never been performed in Georgia before (it's not easy to put together a chorus of forty voices, I would imagine). What promises to make this concert particularly special: the choir will be surrounding the audience, meaning that … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

God does not dwell in a heart that’s confined, and a heart is only as big as the love it holds: in the great heart of Poverty God has room to dwell. — Jacopone da Todi, quoted in An Anthology of Christian Mysticism edited by Harvey D. Egan. … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Men have not become Trappists merely out of a hope for peace in the next world: something has told them, with unshakable conviction, that the next world begins in this world and that heaven can be theirs now, very truly, even though imperfectly, if they give their lives to the one activity which is the beatitude of heaven. That activity is love: the clean, unselfish love that does not live on what it gets but on what it gives; a love that increases by pouring itself out for others, that grows by … [Read more...]